Gun choice for Tiny 10 and small night cats

I have added night critters and members of the tiny ten on every safari. In Namibia I used the outfitters 22 to shoot dik dik and it worked perfect. No damage, then my 308 and 150 gr solid got me an antbear, again no damage. First time In Zim I used my 375 and solids, duiker, steenbuck and jackals. It worked well, just DONT hit the shoulder, on a broadside shot just behind being perfect. Second time in Zim I had my 308 and 150 gr solids and 375 and solids. I found it hard to have the right load in the gun or the right gun in hand. After a jackal exploded at 40 yds PH said "I said solid" obviously I used an accubond in the 308. Did mount him but 300 stitches does not make a good rug mount. On last trip to SA we had a large list of night stuff. Used a 223 and ball to shoot genet, and serval, both were ripped open more than I expected. Same 223 shot duiker and reed buck well, no damage. 308 and solid put a large male civet down immediately with no damage. Bullet traveled full length of him, exiting neck.

I think a 22 hornet with a solid at modest velocity is best. Puts them down humanly without adding mess for taxidermist. For a strict genet hunt in the trees a shotgun and light open choke load of #5 would be a good choice. PH's only wanted solid or soft in 308 for honey badger, tough animals that can soak up light bullets.

I do not think there is the "perfect" gun or load. Africa is too target rich and species size, distance and opportunity are too varied for a one gun/bullet fits all.

My choices, 22 hornet and a solid slowed down for tiny ten and small night stuff. Good night scope and can on barrel. Illegal at home here so use outfitters gun. Shotgun and load above when in trees looking for genets and finally a 308 type caliber with mid weight grain solid. That's still many guns and many choices, most outfits have the ones you did not take over.

Lastly night critter hunting ranks right up there above PG hunting and just below DG for me. Man I enjoy it.

MB
 
I'm going to be doing more tiny 10 and night cats in the next few years. I've thought about adding a barrel to my Blaser R8 or K95. I have two R8's and one K95 and could always setup one gun for little stuff and have the tracker carry it in case we run into something. My mind keeps going to the 22 Hornet. I've got a 257 Wby barrel but that's too fast for the fragile stuff. I could always shoot solids from my big game rifles and usually have some solids when hunting other things in case something pops up. That's a good practice in general as you never know what the Bush will offer each day.

If you were going to take a dedicated gun/caliber for the little stuff, what would you take?
I have done this exact hunt very successfully. After extensive testing of bullets on fox and coyote at home I settles on the Barnes 70g TSX in 5.56. It was amazing in that I could take down PG including bush pig and dozens of springbuck yet not do much damage to an African Wildcat. Please take my advice and you will do very well on this specialized hunt.
 
Those are good points. I’m hoping someone posts a really smart solution that solves everything…maybe.
See my post. I have the answer.
 
Just thinking out loud about a shotgun. How about the new Tungsten loads? Guys are successfully killing turkeys at what 70 Yds? Geese at the same? I have not used them but perhaps something to consider.
Bruce
 
While reading this thread, my thoughts went to what I currently have in my stable that would be great for these smaller species but still able to reach out there if needed with accuracy.
I have a load for my 243 Win I worked up using the Barnes 80 gr TTSX bullet.
I think that would be a great caliber and bullet for the smaller species.
Another one with the right bullet would be the 222 Rem.
 
This is a very interesting post as I have shot small cats and tiny 10 with pretty much what I was hunting plains game with or by happenstance a DG rifle. (30/06, 300WM, 9.3x62, 9.3x74, 500Jeff, 12ga)
On two trips that I only had small and tiny antelope or small predators , in an area that was primarily a plains game area I took a 6.5 creedmoor as there was a possibility of a long shot on my Val Rehbok. and the last trip used a 6.5 grendel, using 120 GMX bullets it did its job with small entrance and exit on cape grysbok, oribi, spring buck and impala. I was very pleased with that combo. All that being said if I was taking a rifle for only tiny 10 and small predators I would take a 22 hornet.
 
This is the cape gun I mentioned by Ferlach...16 gauge and 22 Hi Power. I got this specifically for the topic here and haven't used it yet. My plan would be to use one of my Swaro illuminated scopes.

Screenshot 2023-03-12 at 4.05.28 PM.png


Screenshot 2023-03-12 at 5.39.44 PM.png
 
I think my plan right now is to try and have something suitable for the tiny 10 in the area I'm going to that I have not collected so far. That gun could change depending on what we will have access to and permits for in each area. Obviously, a vaal rhebok setup is vastly different than a blue duiker habitat.
 
Here's a good article from SCI and Boddington on the Tiny 10...

 

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I’ve shot them all except Damara Dik Dik .Id go with the Hornet. Here’s what a 458 solid does. I took the pic because it was a monster. After seeing how small they were I passed so owner shot it!!!

IMG_9824.jpeg
 
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That is a huge Damara's. I've never seen that non-typical horn conformation before. Very interesting.
 
I’ve shot them all except Damara Dik Dik .Id go with the Hornet. Here’s what a 458 solid does. I took the pic because it was a monster. After seeing how small they were I passed so owner shot it!!!
I’ve shot them all except Damara Dik Dik .Id go with the Hornet. Here’s what a 458 solid does. I took the pic because it was a monster. After seeing how small they were I passed so owner shot it!!!
How do you attach a video? Any one know! The horn was just broken. That’s why he shot it.
 
You can insert a link to the video that is hosted by Youtube. If you want to forward it to me I can do that for you.
 
I'm going to be doing more tiny 10 and night cats in the next few years. I've thought about adding a barrel to my Blaser R8 or K95. I have two R8's and one K95 and could always setup one gun for little stuff and have the tracker carry it in case we run into something. My mind keeps going to the 22 Hornet. I've got a 257 Wby barrel but that's too fast for the fragile stuff. I could always shoot solids from my big game rifles and usually have some solids when hunting other things in case something pops up. That's a good practice in general as you never know what the Bush will offer each day.

If you were going to take a dedicated gun/caliber for the little stuff, what would you take?
Just shot Blue Duiker and Common Duiker with a 22 Hornet using Barnes TSX. Worked very well with extremely little damage on both.
 
Just shot Blue Duiker and Common Duiker with a 22 Hornet using Barnes TSX. Worked very well with extremely little damage on both.
Excellent. What was the distance? Any photos you can share?
 
Following. Anyone have positive or negative experiences using 375 solids on the small stuff?
My good, RIP, bud who hunted Africa 24 times and took the tiny ten and a lot more small stuff, used a .375 H&H and loaded it down with light solids.
 
I have added night critters and members of the tiny ten on every safari. In Namibia I used the outfitters 22 to shoot dik dik and it worked perfect. No damage, then my 308 and 150 gr solid got me an antbear, again no damage. First time In Zim I used my 375 and solids, duiker, steenbuck and jackals. It worked well, just DONT hit the shoulder, on a broadside shot just behind being perfect. Second time in Zim I had my 308 and 150 gr solids and 375 and solids. I found it hard to have the right load in the gun or the right gun in hand. After a jackal exploded at 40 yds PH said "I said solid" obviously I used an accubond in the 308. Did mount him but 300 stitches does not make a good rug mount. On last trip to SA we had a large list of night stuff. Used a 223 and ball to shoot genet, and serval, both were ripped open more than I expected. Same 223 shot duiker and reed buck well, no damage. 308 and solid put a large male civet down immediately with no damage. Bullet traveled full length of him, exiting neck.

I think a 22 hornet with a solid at modest velocity is best. Puts them down humanly without adding mess for taxidermist. For a strict genet hunt in the trees a shotgun and light open choke load of #5 would be a good choice. PH's only wanted solid or soft in 308 for honey badger, tough animals that can soak up light bullets.

I do not think there is the "perfect" gun or load. Africa is too target rich and species size, distance and opportunity are too varied for a one gun/bullet fits all.

My choices, 22 hornet and a solid slowed down for tiny ten and small night stuff. Good night scope and can on barrel. Illegal at home here so use outfitters gun. Shotgun and load above when in trees looking for genets and finally a 308 type caliber with mid weight grain solid. That's still many guns and many choices, most outfits have the ones you did not take over.

Lastly night critter hunting ranks right up there above PG hunting and just below DG for me. Man I enjoy it.

MB
I used a .17 Fireball on small critters, caracal, gennet, steenbok, porcupine, monkey, jackal, and white breasted crow, amongst others. The only ones that were a taxidermist's nightmare were the springhares and rock rabbits. Took springbok, warthog and blesbok with the same rifle. If you use non lead bullets, you should be good on the little guys. Coyote hunters selling pelts are a good source of information on different bullets and cartridges to use.
 

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JG26Irish_2 wrote on WISafariHunter's profile.
About Lon's Elephant hunts w/Tokoloshe? I hear Lon is battling cancer? What is his long term prognosis? I am already booked to hunt Africa in 2024 2025. Might consider 2026 for another African hunt. I want to hunt a more wild open region devoid of civilization. Concern is the risk that I book f/2026 then find poor Lon has passed on? Does Lon have any assistance to carry on the business in his absence?
Life is Short live it how you want...
jgraco33 wrote on 85lc's profile.
Is your 22HP still available? If so have the original case?
tacklers wrote on ianevans's profile.
Hi Ian, I'm contemplating my first outing, leaving UK via Dubai to Africa, taking rifles as you did.

I presume it went okay for you, would you have done anything differently? Cheers, Richard East Sussex
A.A. wrote on Msprenger!'s profile.
Are you still looking for a 375 H&H?
 
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